06/22/2008 12:00AM

Not Bourbon gives Attfield his eighth Plate


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Not Bourbon ($11.30) held off the 9-5 favorite, Ginger Brew, in the final strides to capture the 149th running of the $1 million Queen’s Plate under Jono Jones at Woodbine on Sunday.

It was a long anticipated record-typing victory for Canadian Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield, who equaled Harry Giddings Jr. for the most Plate victories by a trainer with eight. Attfield, who last won the Plate in 1995 with Regal Discovery, did a masterful job in getting the speed-oriented Not Bourbon to stay the 1 1/4-mile distance.

“I thought I had a really good chance,” said Attfield. “When you’ve got the machinery to work with, you’ve just got to time it correctly. I didn’t have any problem with the distance. It was his style of running that bothered me. We had him settled nicely coming into this race.

"He was running so easily down the backside, and I felt really confident at the half-mile pole," he added. "To carry that speed a mile and a quarter, that’s a bloody good horse.”

D. Flutie set lively fractions of 23.40 seconds and 47.60 on a clear lead, while Not Bourbon stalked in fourth and Ginger Brew settled in sixth. Not Bourbon made a four-wide bid on the far turn and hit the front at the head of the stretch, while Ginger Brew was in the midst of a five-wide rally.

Not Bourbon opened up a 1 1/2-length lead with an eighth left, and won by a head in time of 2:03.59. Ginger Brew, running just two weeks after her impressive Woodbine Oaks triumph, finished 4 1/2 lengths clear of Solitaire, who rallied extremely wide to edge Deputiformer for third in the 14-horse field of Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

“He relaxed perfectly,” said Jones. “I actually had to move a little before I wanted to, because Deputiformer was pushing his way out. It made him get ‘keen’ before I wanted him to, but he hung on. It shows you how gutsy he is.”

Javier Castellano was pleased with the performance put forth by his mount, Ginger Brew. “She had a good trip following the winner,” said Castellano. “She ran a very good race. She was second-best, that’s all.”

Not Bourbon earned $600,000 for his owner-breeder, Charles Fipke, which boosted the gelding’s bankroll to $961,160.

* Heros Reward ($4.30) led throughout the $201,600 Highlander Stakes, covering six furlongs on the grass in 1:08.02 under Castellano. The Great Caruso finished three-quarters of length back in second, and Wollemi Pine wound up third in the nine-horse field.

Heros Reward, trained by the Maryland-based Dale Capuano, is a Woodbine horse-for-course. He was second in the 2007 Highlander, and was victorious in last year’s Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes in October.

* New York shipper Mission Approved ($10.50) made all the running in the other Grade 3 turf stakes on the card, the $156,250 Singspiel. With Ramon Dominguez aboard, he prevailed by 1 1/2 lengths over Rahy’s Attorney in the 1 1/2-mile marathon.